Have you ever felt like you’re spending too much on hair drying sessions under the hood in the salons? Maybe you’ve got exasperated with the clunky hard bonnets you had purchased earlier? Or you simply want to experience regular salon-drying sessions at the ease of your home?
If you thought of having an affordable and convenient solution to such issues, a soft bonnet hair dryer could precisely be the answer. They are literally soft on your hair in contrast to the regular hair dryer you use every day.
In this article, to enlighten you a bit more, we’re going into a thorough discussion about the best soft bonnet hair dryers, and the goodness they bring along.
Best Soft Bonnet Hair Dryers at a Glance
After spending hours in research, going through a variety of test sessions, and considering plentiful customer opinions, we have sorted out the best picks out of dozens.
Let’s have a glance at our recommended products before we go into a thorough discussion.
|Hot Tools Professional Soft Bonnet Hair Dryer|
|Laila Ali LADR5604 Ionic Soft Bonnet Dryer|
|Revlon Intensity RVDR5041N1 Soft Bonnet Dryer|
Soft Bonnet Hair Dryer – Buyer’s Guide
What is A Soft Bonnet Hair Dryer?
A soft bonnet hair dryer is a simpler and softer, homely version of those heavyweight hooded dryers seen standing in the salons. These bonnet dryers may remind you of their hard bonnet counterparts too.
The soft hooded dryers are intended to provide you with salon-quality hair drying experience within the ease and comfort of your home. They come with a soft bonnet attachment instead of those clunky hoods to offer you a more relaxed hair drying session cutting off any chance of potential discomfort. A hose is attached to its main unit, which also connects the soft hood for conveying the hot airflow.
They come with low-powered motors and therefore, produce a less powerful flow of hot air than the rest of the types. Meaning, you get a more soothing blow-drying experience with the minimal risk of heat damage to your hair. And these compact yet simple, lightweight devices also outperform the hard bonnet dryers in terms of portability, flexibility, and convenience.
Who Can Use It?
Soft bonnet dryers can be used by just about anyone who desires to experience salon-quality hair drying sessions at home. With its relatively low power output, they suit every hair type, be it curly, coarse, African American, naturally black hair or even the damage-prone fine delicate hair. You’ll only have to apply the heat settings properly. The beginner-friendly dryer hood can be worn by anyone without having to worry about heat damage.
Since the soft hooded dryers don’t heat up to the extent the other hair dryers do, they are the safest hair drying option for chemically treated hair. And they are undoubtedly your best match if you want to get rid of the frizzy kinks from your hair through deep conditioning. Since doing this in a salon will cost you heavy bucks, you’ll definitely love having this cost-effective solution.
If you love making curls with rollers and want a longer-lasting effect, soft bonnet hairdryer might just be the precise option for you. You can get the best out of your rollers, curling your hair and placing them inside the soft hood. With the aid of a cool shot setting, they set in your desired style for a much longer effect.
However, less power means a slower operation, so the soft bonnet dryers act much slower than your regular hair dryers. A drying session may take around 25-30 minutes. It’s no way an issue for those who love to dry their hair while sitting idle and reading a book. But it’s definitely not the best fit for the busy women who are always in a hurry.
How You’ll Benefit from a Soft Bonnet Hair Dryer
A soft bonnet dryer is all about simplicity and convenience. Let’s have a look at how you can benefit from it.
Hands-Free Hair drying
This simple hair care tool doesn’t require any manual action from you while driving in the hot airflow through your hair. With its hands-free operation, you’ll only have to sit relaxed, put the hood on, and turn on the heat. So, no more aching your wrist, and no more angling of your body when you try to reach the heat into tight sections with a hand-held dryer.
Ease of Use
Enjoy the freedom of moving around during the drying sessions. These hair dryers don’t require to sit still while keeping your neck straight underneath the hood. It’ll stick to your head and won’t come off until you take it off. So relax, read a book, or watch TV while it does its job.
Soft hooded dryers mostly come in a compact case, which is lightweight and easily portable. So you always have the opportunity to take it with you during your vacation trips.
Damage-Free Hair Drying
You’ll not find a more convenient way to simplify the drying process. Using a soft hooded dryer is no way less than having your neighboring salon to do the drying job. And it hardly costs a dime compared to that. Where your traditional dryer risks damaging your hair blasting a concentrated heat flow at smaller sections, soft bonnet hair dryers disperse the heat flow ensuring an even heat distribution all over your hair.
Healthy Hair with Conditioning
Heard about ion generation? Soft bonnet dryers produce a lot of them. And they don’t stop here, they reserve the ions inside the hood throughout a session, and condition your hair opening up the cuticle and bathing your hair with the nutrients. Whether you have relaxed hair or color-treated hair, sit at ease while your soft hooded hairdryer dries your hair with proper care.
Perfect for Style Setting
If you happen to love rollers, you are bound to love the soft hoods. Partner the curly hot rollers with your soft bonnet hairdryer and let this innovative tool do its job. Not only the rollers will stay in place, but you’ll also get your style firmly set. It’ll surely impress you by giving you shinier luster to your curls that will last long beyond your expectations.
Besides saving you the salon costs, soft bonnet dryers also minimize your electricity bills. Having a less powerful motor than traditional dryers, or other bonnet dryers, they juice out far less power from your power socket. So despite the lengthier drying sessions, they do not use that much electricity. Thus, fewer power pull-outs means fewer bills.
Well, besides so many benefits, these soft hooded dryers also have downsides.
- Time consumption has to be the first of concerns. The soft bonnet hair dryers consume more time for drying your hair than any other hair dryer types out there. It’s because of the less powerful motor that flows a much slower hot airflow. However, this is hardly an issue for those who happen to enjoy their time sitting with the hood on their head reading books, or watching TV.
- The mechanism of these hair dryers is too simplistic to offer you the benefit of the automatic time setting.
The Core Features of Soft Bonnet Hair Dryers
The soft bonnet blow dryers come with some core features that differentiate them from the rest. In this section, we’ll discuss them in detail so that you get to know what to look for while purchasing one.
Unlike those bonnet dryers you’ve seen in the salons, which have hard, big hoods, a soft bonnet hair dryer has a soft hood made of either nylon or anti-radiation coated high-grade thin plastic. This soft hood ensures you feel the comfort while drying and deep conditioning your hair at home.
No wonder that it’s the very trait these dryers are named after. They resemble the big hoods on tall stands in salons. The soft bonnet doesn’t let out the hot air coming through the hose and doesn’t let in the outside air either, making sure every part of your hair gets an even airflow. Yes, it has the vent holes all over it, but the high pressure of the outward airflow efficiently keeps away the outer air.
So what exactly happens inside the soft bonnet is, the hot airflow neither gets trapped in, nor it’s sped out completely. As a result, the hot airflow and the negative ions reach every single strand of your hair properly, giving you a perfectly dried, deep conditioned, sleek looking hair without exposing your hair to heat damage. They provide a hydrating treatment to your hair for a shinier hair.
Although the standard hairdryers can effectively dry your hair, the risk of heat damage is surely there when you’re using a dryer improper for your hair type. Soft bonnet dryers, on the other hand, suit every hair type (you’ll only have to choose the right heat setting) and they’re much gentler on your hair eliminating any risk regarding such damages. And it’s more comfortable an option than those clunky hard bonnet dryers as well.
Gentle airflow is a vital trait that gives the soft hooded dryers the upper hand over the traditional dryers or hard hooded dryers. A moderately powered motor is what’s responsible for this controlled airflow mechanism.
The motor of a soft bonnet dryer, be it AC or DC, comes within the wattage range 400w-800w. The low wattage delivers much gentler hot airflow that leaves no room for any damage to your hair or discomfort to your scalp. Besides, low power also means minimal electric bills.
However, we do not recommend a soft hooded dryer with a wattage any less than 800 watts. Because the fewer the wattage is, the slower the drying session gets. Moreover, it’s hard to get the desired results with an overly low-powered motor, since it won’t produce the amount of airflow required for properly drying and conditioning your hair. And you’re certainly not going to keep the bonnet over your head all day long.
Even though soft bonnet hair dryers produce a much gentler and slower flow of hot air, they offer multiple heat levels to give you the option to choose from speed variations.
Coarse hair would require the full heat flow, where the lower settings would suit more delicate hair. Quite naturally, with more heat settings, a dryer can aid more hair types and textures. It’s good if there’s a heat/speed level something in between high and low. Three levels allow adequate options to dry different degrees of wet hair.
Besides these heat/speed levels, some bonnet dryers also feature a cool setting, which enables you to set a finished hairstyle for a long-lasting hold. With this feature, the dryer cools down your hair temperature and locks in the style achieved by rollers.
Every soft bonnet hair dryer comes with a conveyor hose attached to it. The hose, made of nylon or heat-resistant plastic, conveys hot airflow from the core unit to the bonnet.
The hose needs to be long enough to give you the convenience of easy maneuvering. Since you are going to sit out the whole session on your easy chair, the hose must be long enough, so the distance between the power outlet and your head doesn’t limit the relaxed movement you desire for doing other things.
A 3-ft hose will just be long enough to provide that comfort for sitting relaxed or maneuvering your neck for reading a magazine, and any less would only make it harder for you. There are some bonnet dryers that come with a 2-ft hose pipe. With those, you may have to compromise your comfort keeping your head slightly bent while sitting.
In most cases, the soft bonnet and the hose pipe come separately and require you to connect yourself. They are often connected with an easy roller-click lock or a press lock.
Most of the time the press lock tends to loosen over time, and sometimes it’s so hard to keep it connected since only a slight pull may disconnect it easily. The easy roller-click lock, on the other hand, hardly disconnects with mere pulls and stays firmly locked until you roll it back loose.
It’s needless to say why you’ll want the hose to be connected to the bonnet. After all, who wants annoying disruptions in the middle of a relaxing blow-drying session? Besides, the loosened hot hose can even harm your skin while dangling sporadically.
As we have said before, a soft bonnet hair dryer comes with a much comfortable hood interior, unlike its hard bonnet counterpart, which hardly cares for your comfort. Apart from wearing comfort, it also has a clean-friendly interior.
Cleaning the nylon exterior is no big a deal since it merely gets stained to that extent. But there’s always a possibility for the interior to get badly messed up because of the sweat and grime of wet hair. Thankfully, most of the bonnet interiors have an extra stain-proof layer so you can easily clean it wiping it off with a wet cloth.
Where the hard bonnet dryers give you a hard time cleaning the hood, this feature comes really handy in soft bonnet dryers cutting off that hassle. Especially when you use dye or chemical solutions, such an interior spares you the hardship of cleaning up the mess.
The soft hood mostly fits every head size because of its adjustability. So it hardly holds a major concern in terms of head adjustment.
But it’s an essential factor that determines whether you can use your preferred rollers inside it or not. Using rollers while hair-drying is a common practice for achieving smooth curls. If the hood isn’t wide enough or its width doesn’t expand enough, you may have to compromise the urge of using jumbo rollers on your hair.
So, for using the rollers you prefer, you must consider the maximum width of the bonnet. In general, bonnets that expand up to a minimum of 11 inches in diameter are wide enough to accommodate every available roller size. And we recommend going for the biggest one, so you never fall short of style options.
You may wonder why these soft bonnets have so many holes on them if they’re supposed to hold in the hot airflow. Well, the holes are there to maintain the overall heat balance inside the hood. They vent out the excessive heat eliminating the chance of potential discomfort caused by sweating. So the hot air doesn’t get jammed in maintaining a balanced flow all over the head.
Because of the high pressure of the airflow, the colder outer air cannot get inside either, ensuring a stable warmth all-around. Besides, without these holes, your scalp will perspire, and your hair may not dry at all. You’ll want the hood of your soft bonnet blow dryer to have plenty of holes on it for a healthy, comfortable, and easeful drying session.
A Few Additional Features
Among other notable features of soft bonnet hairdryers, you may find the following.
- AC or DC motor.
- Multiple motor utilization.
- Ionic technology for eliminating frizzy kinks.
- Compact storage case for the bonnet and the hose.
The Must-Have Traits of an Ideal Soft Bonnet Hair Dryer
You certainly would want to get the best out from the soft hooded dryer you’ll purchase. So it’s essential for your dryer not to miss out on a single key attribute. So make sure you purchase one that comes with the following traits.
|Expandable Hood Diameter||At Least 11 Inches|
|Secure Hose lock||Must Include|
|Hose length||Minimum 3 ft|
|Heat/speed levels||At least 3|
Top 3 Soft Bonnet Hair Dryers
As we’ve said earlier, you’ll want your soft hooded dryer to provide you with the best hair drying and styling service. And to avail the best possible service, choosing the best soft bonnet hair dryer is the key.
Just like every other hair product, soft hooded dryers are produced by a variety of brands that are available in different price ranges. Andis, Conair, Carel, Hot tools, Gold n Hot, Revlon are among the brand names to have produced them over the past few years. While they are more in numbers nowadays, quality is something that’s not present in each of the products. So, it might be a hectic task for you to pick the right one that won’t require you to compromise your styling demands.
To spare you the hassle, we’ve come up with six of the most popular soft bonnet hairdryers available in the market. We have handpicked them on the basis of a variety of test processes, in-depth researches, and customer opinions.
Before we dive into their details, let’s have a look at the comparative chart down below.
A Comparative Chart for Clarification
|Properties||Hot Tools||Laila Ali||Revlon||Conair||Andis||Gold N'|
|Expandable Hood Diameter||More Than 12 Inches||12 Inches||10 Inches||11.5 Inches||More Than 12 Inches||10 Inches|
|Hose Length||3 ft.||3.5 ft.||3 ft.||4 ft.||3.5 ft.||3.5 ft.|
|Secure Hose Lock||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Stain Proof Hood Interior||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Unknown|
|Price ($)||Around 70||Around 50||Around 200||Around 40||Around 50||Around 60|
Hot Tools Professional Soft Bonnet Hair Dryer
Ranking Position: 1
Our Opinion: Winner
Renowned for mostly as a professional salon-grade hair tool manufacturers, Hot Tools has produced several top-notch hair dryers over the past few years. Where most of their hair drying products are for the professional hairstylists, there have been a few items for home use too, having similar quality. This professional soft bonnet dryer is such a product that delivers salon-grade performance at the ease of your home.
The trait that beats the others is its dual-motor mechanism that runs on 800 watts, producing a more powerful airflow than the rests. So, good news for those worrying about drying their overly coarse hair. The heavy flow of conditioning ions eliminates frizz from even the extremely coarse African American hair. With four heat/speed settings, it never deprives the relatively thinner hair types too that require a gentler flow of hot air.
It comes with a hood having a diameter more than a foot, meaning it’s able to accommodate the biggest of the roller sizes available out there. So you’ll never fall short of options when curling your hair with them. Besides, wider bonnet means better inflation and far better comfort as the hood doesn’t get your head jammed with hot air. And with adequate vent holes, it ensures your hair cuticle gets a balanced heat distribution all over. Both the features make sure your hair remains safe from any potential heat damage.
As for your convenience, the unit comes with a 3 ft. long high-grade hose pipe that is long enough to provide you easy maneuvers while sitting with the hood on. The hose can be locked in secure with an easy roller click lock, so it never comes off all of a sudden in the middle of a session. The stain-proof material of the hood further adds to your convenience, cutting off the messes of dyes or chemical treatments.
Apart from the key features mentioned above, the unit also boasts a high-quality build and extremely heat resistant outer hose body. It means you won’t have to worry about burning your skin when sitting peacefully and the hose is touching you while dangling.
If you want a hassle-free hair dryer that you can use without any worries regarding hair damage while experiencing the best salon-quality hair drying at home, look no further. Quicker sessions with the powerful dual-motor mechanism, perfect shine with the balanced ion generation and an even heat flow, and the generous hood size make it the real deal soft bonnet hair dryer for every hair type.
A Few Additional Features
- Most efficient direct ionic technology helps achieve a shinier finish.
- Powerful, high-grade dual DC motor enables faster operation than other models.
- The cool shot feature locks in the moisture for long-lasting results.
- Efficiently preserves color or chemical treated hair.
- Voltage 110v.
- The compact and lightweight storage case is easily portable.
Laila Ali LADR5604 Ionic Soft Bonnet Dryer
Ranking Position: 2
Our Opinion: Runner-Up
This Laila Ali soft bonnet dryer is probably the most talked-about hooded dryers out there. The fan-favorite product has been best-seller since its release for its stunning purple look and excellent competency. However, when we compared it with the previous product, the Hot Tools had got the upper hand. The dual-motor mechanism, a more effective ion generation technology, and a slightly wider hood gave it the edge.
Despite falling a little behind to its Hot Tools counterpart, you can hardly write-off this excellent unit. It has a powerful 800-watt DC motor that flows heavy enough hot airflow. The ion infused airflow efficiently tames the hair type variations for a shiny, frizz-free finish. And it aids your chemical treated or dyed hair with the precise conditioning they need.
With four heat/speed levels, it gives you enough options to dry your hair in your preferred style. The settings include a cool shot feature similar to the Hot tools that help set in your hairstyle for a longer-lasting effect. Besides, the 12-inch wide large high-grade material bonnet keeps the interior completely secured to preserve the ion generation for the best possible result.
The hood comes with more than twenty vent holes to keep the overall temperature properly balanced. As a result, your hair and your scalp remain free of risk from potential burns and discomfort. Moreover, letting out the outward air the holes helps maintain an even heat distribution all over your hair.
The hose attached to the core unit is 3.5 ft. long. So you won’t have to worry about maneuverability while sitting throughout a drying session. The plastic made hose is fairly heat resistant. You can easily curl your hair using various roller sizes inside the large hood. The hood is also stain-proof to spare you the hassles of cleaning greasy mess.
We have seen this product getting stock-out and getting back in stock again, and then getting stock-out all over again on Amazon. So it’s no wonder how this product holds the demands of the customers. You too can blend in with the trend without hesitation for it’s surely a top-notch hairdryer.
A Few Additional Features
- Boasts ionic technology.
- It comes with a high-quality DC motor.
- Efficiently preserves color or chemical treated hair.
- The cool shot feature locks in the moisture for long-lasting results.
- The extremely lightweight storage case is easily portable and travel-friendly.
Revlon Intensity RVDR5041N1 Soft Bonnet Dryer
Ranking Position: 3
Our Opinion: Second Runner-Up
Well, despite having a range of pretty awesome features and functionalities, the Revlon RVDR5041N1 falls behind in our list from the previous two for its relatively narrower hood and a much higher price tag.
The width of the soft bonnet is expandable up to a mere 10-inch, which by far falls short while accommodating the jumbo hot rollers. So you’ll have to compromise the urge of using such rollers for curling your hair under its hood.
Regardless of these issues, this is a decent bonnet hair dryer having a powerful 800-watt motor. In terms of airflow speed and negative ion generation, the unit hardly falls behind the Laila Ali LADR5604. The ion infused hot airflow acts effectively enough to reduce the frizz and kinks from your hair strands while also aiding deep conditioning for healing damaged hair.
The 3 ft long flexible hose pipe that comes out from the main unit has an easy roller click lock on its other end to fend off the possibilities of potential impacts. The stain-proof hood comes with more than 25 vent holes to allow a much relaxing heat flow all over your head. You have the option to choose from four different heat settings, including an effective cool setting that effectively sets in your preferred hairstyle. So except for the high price, this hair dryer surely has the attributes of a top contender.
A Few Additional Features
- Boasts ionic technology.
- It comes with a high-quality DC motor.
- A great solution for chemical treatment.
- The lightweight storage case comes with easy portability.
A Few More Alternatives
Conair Soft Bonnet Hair Dryer
This soft hooded dryer from Conair is among the less competent alternatives to our best picks for its versatility and lower price.
The product comes with a less powerful 400-watt motor, which keeps it behind our recommended list. It’s suitable for damage-prone fine delicate hair that requires a much slower heat flow for drying. You can also use it if your hair is coarse, but it’ll consume a lot more time for a session to complete than the above three.
This unit comes with ionic technology to fight off the kinks. But because of the slower generation process, you might not get the best results on your thick hair.
The unit provides you with the best maneuverability out there with its extra-large 4 ft high-grade flexible hose. So you have the fullest freedom to move and do other tasks while drying your hair. The large hood expands to nearly 12 inches to provide you with the benefit of adequate roller options as well. A hot air vent brush also comes with the package for free to sweeten up your purchase.
Andis Professional Bonnet Hair Dryer
This Andis soft bonnet dryer has slightly a bit more powerful motor of 500 watts. So it produces a comparatively better heat and ion generation. The 3.5 ft long high-grade heat resistant hose also deserves some praise. However, the downsides are not few in numbers too.
The dryer limits your heat flow options with only two heat/speed settings. It’s a downside that deters you to get conditioning treatments that require several airflow variations. Besides, the lack of a cool shot means, you cannot set in the curls for longer.
Despite the jumbo bonnet expands more than a foot, its interior is not completely stain-proof. It’ll require a thorough hand wash after you have taken a dye or chemical treatment.
You can only go for this dryer if your sole purpose is hair drying at a peaceful slower session.
Gold N’ Hot Professional Soft Bonnet Dryer
Similar to the Conair, this Gold n’ Hot soft bonnet dryer comes with a low-powered 400-watt motor with four heat settings to choose from. The unit has a pretty luxurious aesthetic. But the lack of some essential features keeps it behind from the rest on our list.
The first of all concerns is its poor hose locking mechanism. The hose easily comes off the bonnet and requires repeated fixes making you tire in the process. Moreover, even though it’s 3.5 ft. long, it’s made of low-grade plastic that makes it really hot while drying your hair. So it’s possible that you’ll burn your skin when the hose dangles and touches you.
The hood is also made of cheap plastic that’s nowhere near comfortable. Besides, it’s not so long-lasting and can break apart over time. And it doesn’t expand to more than 10 inches, limiting your options with the roller size variations. The unit makes annoyingly loud noises too.
We do not recommend this Gold n’ Hot soft hooded blow dryer. Apart from the stunning look, it only has upsetting features that depress your hair drying experience at home.
We have reached the end of this article. So far we have talked about almost every aspect of soft bonnet hair dryers, how they benefit you, and what you should look into while making a purchase. We have also introduced you with some of the best soft bonnet hair dryers in the market and tried you help you figure out how they fare when it comes to meeting your requirements.
At the end of the day, it’s all up to you. Know your purpose, know your requirements, consider your budget, and follow this in-depth guide of ours to make the best selection.